CMS Expo Blog

CMS Expo event updates, business news and creative insights


CMS Expo 2015
After weeks of strategic planning, based on feedback from our poll and valuable discussions with many here in the CMS Community, we are excited to announce our 2014-2015 plan!

We are bringing Dayhitter EventsTM to your doorstep, providing more in-depth focus on time-sensitive topics affecting web content pros. Our first three Dayhitters are planned for March, May and September of 2014, and will lead right up to CMS Expo in May, 2015.

CMS Expo will move to a two-year schedule, in order to accommodate Dayhitter Events. So mark your calendars for May 12-14, 2015! This extra planning time will allow our team to work with our speakers, sponsors and attendees to make CMS Expo even more dynamic, to help attendees learn exactly what they need, delivered by unforgettable A-list presenters and innovators. We're already at work, planning for 2015 to make the 2015 CMS Expo a truly milestone event, so send in your suggestions now!

And, to keep you connected day-to-day, there's The CMS Connection. We added a CMS News & Views blog, with some great contributors you've grown to know and trust, and a whole lot more, to give you viable, actionable information and make valuable business connections when YOU need it most (as in "right now!"). 

We look forward to your comments and suggestions for Dayhitter Events, as well as ways to make CMS Expo the "must-attend" event of 2015, so send them our way!

Send us your comments and suggestions here!


To "Expo" or Not to "Expo" in 2014?
Dayhitter Events
About CMS Connection

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The CMSA Spotlight Awards Winners were announced LIVE today at the 2013 CMS Expo in Evanston, Illinois. The winners are as follows:


Best CMS Site Design Firm of The Year:
Taylor Bruce Design


Taylor Bruce



Best CMS Development Firm of The Year:
Savvy Panda


Savvy Panda



Best CMS App of the Year:






Best Joomla! CMS Site of the Year:
Put Me In the Story
by Sourcebooks & Aluent Group


Put Me In The Story



Best WordPress CMS Site of the Year:
United Way of East Central Iowa


United Way



Best Drupal CMS Site of the Year:
The Latin Kitchen
by Latina Media Ventures







©CMS Association Inc
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Choose a CMS that is BEST for you not because it is the BEST!

This morning I had an idea to blog about CMSs and as usual, my first stop was to Google it to research and investigate. I browsed and started my search with keywords such as JoomlaWordpress & Drupal. All I found were pages and pages full of comparison articles. Seems like the majority of CMS folks are blogging about the comparison of these great Content Management Systems and are arguing over which one is better.

Stop the comparison war! Individual approach needed!

Someone chooses one CMS over another not because that particular CMS is better than the other. No! He/she chooses it because he/she needs that CMS! It is all individual! Choose a CMS that is BEST for you not because it is the BEST!

For those of you who have no idea what I am talking about maybe this blog is not for you, but if you have seen the many comparisons out there, read on the short insight of where the CMSs are now that I came up with:

Wordpress, Joomla and Drupal

Drupal is a powerful, developer-friendly tool for building complex sites. You got to have some experience. Joomla offers middle ground between the developer-oriented, extensive capabilities of Drupal and user-friendly but more complex website development options than Wordpress offers. Wordpress began as an innovative, easy-to-use blogging platform. With an ever-increasing repertoire of themes, plugins and widgets, this CMS is widely used for other website formats also.

So, Wordpress, is quite a new kid in the CMS world though it has been around longer, whereas Drupal and Joomla have been in the CMS community for quite a long time.  However, Wordpress is great in blogging sphere. So, what unites all of them is the great communities and the support, with the help of which these CMS strive forward.

I am not going to give you an in depth comparison, no, this is not just another comparison blog! All in all, all 3 CMSs are great in their own way. It all depends on what you need to do! It can also come down to the experience you have with each CMS. So, say you don't like Wordpress, that doesn't make it less valuable, it just makes it less useful to you!


The friendliness chart

I am a Joomla! lover and been in a CMS world for about a year, (Not too long I know. My Joomla! journey started with Bang2Joom). I research a lot and I get to work mostly with Joomla! folks but also had chances to have friends who are crazy about Drupal and Wordpress and always oppose me. So taking account all of these, here is my personal chart for the “friendly” feature of the CMSs.


For developers

For designers

For users


Not developer friendly   



Somehow designer friendly                     

Super user friendly


Extremely developer friendly     


Not designer friendly                                 

Not user friendly


Developer friendly!                                     

Extremely designer friendly!                      

User friendly!


Wordpress guys are generally not into comparison, seems like they are the blogging giants and are happy with this status. There are some great guys in Drupal who are open to comparison but most tend to avoid it. Joomla! folks are the ones who are not afraid to compare and be compared; they always blog comparing the CMSs.

To put it short, if Wordpress is more for end-users, Drupal is more for developers, Joomla! is ‘all together’. In fact, Joomla means 'all together' in Swahili, this is how this powerful CMS works. ;)

With such a wealth of options as we have before us, choosing the right CMS has never been so easy! Who needs boundaries and limits? Every one of them has great features to be used! We have the choice! Learn from each of these great CMSs, try to enhance your coding, make your design more appealing, and learn how to build more user-friendly websites.

Now, we have a great chance to unite at the CMS Expo and learn from each other! I really hope that in a few years when I browse and search for the same keywords, the search results will be more about the Expos, gathering, and some other joint project of these great CMSs – Joomla, Drupal and Wordpress!

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 “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can only see as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way. — E. L. Doctorow

 We hear a lot about CX, Customer Experience, these days. Scott Liewehr will be leading a CMS Expo panel on Customer Experience Management In The Real World discussing how Some CMS vendors are betting big on CX as the next big thing. Experience marketing has been around for some time and blossomed on the Interactive Web. Pine & Gilmore outlined The Experience Economy in their 1999 book stating "The newly identified offering of experiences occurs whenever a company intentionally uses services as the stage and goods as props to engage an individual." CX has indeed become an important realm for engagement with targeted and personalized content adding value to customer experiences.

But we don’t hear much about Author Experience. Sure, customers are important, but if Content is King, as they say, who's lording over all that content? Has anybody checked in on the content authors lately? Do we have any metrics on AX? Maybe we need to invest in some AXM to get things on track. Oh, what's that you say: we've moved on to aggregation and curation—we no longer have actual authors!


Wait a minute. I'm a publisher. I work with authors and troll for more authors. In my career as an editor, content wrangler, and publisher, I’ve worked with hundreds of writers. In my Internet life I’ve engaged with thousands upon thousands of people and the content they’ve written in blogs, wikis, websites, forums, and now through web apps, ebooks, and more.

We should not neglect the source of all this content consumed by customers everywhere, as we manage, market, and target the heck out of it. Authors are the invisible content grunt workers behind the scenes. But not for long. They are begging for, no demanding our attention.

On Twitter there is a 24/7 fire hose of tweets with free ebook offers from the self-published boom of emerging authors, from amateurs to fakes to cultish egos to undiscovered talents. On LinkedIn and Google+ my groups and circles barrage me with free news and blog posts across an incredible range of topics. Who is composing this never-ending stream of content for free? How does it get done? And what of their experience?

We know there is a path to success and reward for authors. There are breakthrough ‘“hybrid authors like Erika Leonard, a.k.a E.L. James, whose Fifty Shades trilogy began as online fan fiction and then sold over 70 million copies, or Hugh Howey who self-published his Wool series as Kindle ebooks, sold a half million, and then signed a hefty contract with Simon and Schuster for print rights only.

Howey says, I expected nothing. I wrote as one might garden or knit, simply because they enjoy the act of creation.

If we look a bit closer at an actual author at work, we'll see the author nervously clutching a mouse as a pointer hovers just above the jewel-like icons of the WYSIWYG toolbar. Ah, let's try a new font. OOPS, that didn't work... I wonder if this button will fixDOH! Everything turned pink. Don't panic. There's help. Click Help.

CONTENT CONSTRUCTION: When your article attains Draft mode, be sure to edit the Excerpt field to exactly 140 characters. Select one Category, and at least two Tags, but no more than five. If you have not inserted Media elements, you should select at one image from the appropriate Library section, or you may assign your Avatar as a thumbnail. Be sure that your Facebook, Twitter, and Google+ accounts have been authenticated, unless you are a guest blogger, in which case, the editor will review your Klout score. 


Thought leader Guy Kawasaki in his new book APE says A successful self-publisher must fill three roles: Author, Publisher, and Entrepreneur—or APE. These roles are challenging, but they are not impossible—especially if people who have done it before explain it to you.


“But I just want to write,” laments the author perplexed by all the buttons, forms, notifications, and cryptic terminology of the typical content management system interface. No worries, real help is on the way for authors.


Try Zen mode in WordPress, one of Matt Mullenweg's favorite features of that CMS. Just your words on a white screen without the tech mess. Or try the trendy geek mode of markdown, as opposed to HTML markup. You just have to remember how you typed formatting hints into that wiki so many years ago. Inline editing is all the rage too, where you actually type right onto the web page itself. Take your pick; all of these do away with that ornery, hideous CMS interface.

Author Experience is the next big thing. Now we just need a CMS that hides itself completely as we finally focus on what matters the most: the content. The perfect AX would have only 3 buttons:

  1. Write 
  2. Publish 
  3. Automagic


There's an automagic algorithm for all that extra content strategy, modeling, semantics, metadata, formatting, tagging, management, marketing, targeting, personalization, contextualization, and APIs. Right?


David Skarjune will give a talk on Content Publishing at CMS Expo, where he'll get serious about the Author Experience revolution.

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Next week is CMS Expo and it's a great time to be in Chicago. The weather is warmer and it's a great time to get away and build your markting and business skills.

From the CMS Expo website:

"You don't have time for jargon, vendor speak or spin, and neither do we. Our learning sessions and panels are delivered by real-world presenters, here to help solve the real-world challenges businesses like yours face every day."

I will be presenting five sessions at the conference this year (because I'm insane) covering a variety of topics. Here's the rundown:

So why would you consider attending? Glad you asked! Let's review:

1. Chicago in May is beautiful. Spring here is and it's a great time to get away and see the city. From driving/running/walking down Lakeshore Drive to Navy Pier, there are lots of ways to get out and enjoiy the weather.

2. No PowerPoint doom. I don't just read bullet points on a slide. I have conversations with my audience. Here's proof.

3. You'll learn valuable skills. Want to learn to produce video for your website? Check. Want to learn how to write great content for the web? Check. Thinking about going mobile? Check. This conference will make you a better marketing professional or business owner.

4. Giordano's pizza. 'Nuff said.

5. It could be a turning point for your company. If you own or manage a web design firm and you're wondering how to take the next step toward becoming an inbound marketing agency, you won't want to miss my presentation. My agency recently went through this change and I plan to share with you how you can evolve in this direction, too.

6. You'll come back looking like a smarty-pants. If you're in charge of helping with marketing are your company you wil come back from this conference with a cannon full of new ideas and initiatives as well as ways to help your team. You'll be the envy of your co-workers. Look how marketing-savvy you are!

7. Great networking. CMS Expo is made up of great people from all over the world who are eager to help you. You'll find designers, developers, marketers, business owners, and more at this conference. It's a very special group of people.

8. Get help figuring out your CMS. A great content management system is crucial to the success of your website. You'll have the chance to gather tons of information that will help you determine which CMS is right for you.

9. Inspiration happens outside your comfort zone. Does is cost time and money to take time away from work to attend? Absolutely. However, sometimes the best inspiration and business breakthroughs can happen when you step outside your comfort zone and get into a different environment. It happens to me all the time.

10. I'm a sucker for free advice. I love to help people... especially people who attend my presentations. Bring your burning marketing questions and let's grab a beverage afterwards and I will do everything I can do assess your challenges and offer some real soutions and advice.

I'm very much looking forward to CMS Expo this year and I look forward to seeing you there! If you're not already registered, register for CMS Expo today.

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Crafter CMS - Liftoff

You may have heard the news, we've got a brand new CMS orbiting the Earth right about now, and it's called "Crafter CMS." The folks over at Rivet Logic just spun off Crafter. It's open source, it's Java, and it's already tried-and-tested on some major-league (well actually NFL-league) sites. Enterprise marketers are going to love what the folks at Crafter have done, too! Come to CMS Expo to see it up close and personal, and take it for a ride!

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crafter-logo-transparentCome See the New Crafter CMS In Action at the 2013 CMS Expo!

New Company Provides Best of Breed Software and Services for Building Engagement Across all Digital Online Channels

Crafter Software Corp., a new spinoff of Rivet Logic Corp., is now offering web content and web experience management software enabling its customers to deliver strategic content tailored to end users through multiple online channels. Crafter Software’s offerings are based on the Crafter CMS open source project (previously Crafter Rivet), letting companies develop and manage rich web and mobile experiences. Numerous companies, including media and retail giants and others in the Fortune 500 as well as major government agencies have already benefitted from Crafter deployments. 

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